We had 11 sessions, each one happened in their own time slot. That's a bit unorthodox for an IndieWebCamp but it allowed some of the sessions to spread out and have completely different people at some than others based on interest and timezones (yes, timezones are hard). Interestingly the sessions ended up in three groups, 4 "Friday" sessions, 3 late-night Wordpress sessions and 4 "Saturday" sessions. Although due to timzones those days are a bit blurry.
I really enjoyed all the sessions. A couple that really stood out were the AutoAuth and Groups sessions. In fact, inspired by the AutoAuth session, that's what my Create Day project was on! For Day 2 of the camp, I worked on adding AutoAuth to my site. AutoAuth is a proposed extension to the IndieAuth specification that allows IndieAuth to happen between software without the active intervention of the site owners. The goal of AutoAuth is to allow access control to posts like how Facebook allows you to make a post with only specific users able to see it or how Twitter allows you to have a private account.
First I was able to add the right scopes to my authorization endpoint
which I defined as "Allow a third party application to request the ability to read other people's content". It can probably be improved but essentially it allows my Social Reader to grab private posts on my behalf so that I can read them in my app.
I also implemented protected posts on my website and did some testing. I added two people to the "access list" (which I call audience) of a private test post. I then tested visiting that page as an unidentified user, as me, as a person on the access list and as a person I know is NOT on the access list. It worked correctly, for an unidentified user, it presents the correct HTTP headers for AutoAuth so a reader knows there is content there if people are identified. However the page itself doesn't say anything about the existence of a post to an unidentified user or a user that is not on the access list.
It's kind of a strange error message from when I had a static site that had to rebuild. I need to adapt that, but the key is it works! Then when either I or a person on the access list visits the url, you get a different page completely!
Surprise! There is a post there! In the future, I could even do things like restrict the location of the post to people that I know or other similar things. AutoAuth opens up the doorway to a whole interesting world of semi-private information.
I am not actually finished with the project, I have some more stuff I need to finish as far as how my site communicates with other people's sites to verify the person is who they say they are, etc. But it's an exciting start and sometimes starting is the hardest part!
I'm hoping to get this work wrapped up in the next week so I can start testing it. Plus, if I get it working and start creating private posts for people on the IndieWeb, it might encourage them to start adding AutoAuth to their projects as well!
We meet at a time that is optimized so that anyone in the America Timezones can make it. This means after work for people on the west of America and late evening for those on the East of America.
That said, I think we have reached the point in growth with various projects including a commercial product in Micro.blog that it is time to develop 1 (or 2, for plurality sake) turn-key IndieWeb CMS solutions. I think by building and producing such projects now, it is unlikely that it will overtake the current plurality of options. This is also true because even the most simple one click install will never be as easy as Micro.blog, which means we will always have many options for the IndieWeb.
It's coming along nicely. So far, I've imported all existing webmentions from webmention.io and stored them locally alongside my post storage. So if my post is stored in
/2018/11/15/5/post.md then my webmentions would be stored in
/2018/11/15/5/mentions/ each webmention is stored as a
.json file with the source url being the filename. This allows for one webmention per file and if I want to load all the webmentions for a specific post, I just open up all the files in the mentions directory. So far, I'm really liking this and how well it's working.
If it's a homepage mention, it will save the webmention in
/mentions/homepage/ and if it's not a known post, right now it will collect the webmention in
/mentions/unknown. Again, all of these webmentions are stored as individual files. If I recieve an updated webmention, it overwrites the file, so I get the updated information.
Besides just downloading all existing webmentions, I have also added support so that when webmention.io receives a new webmention, it pings my server and my server will go ahead and download that webmention and save it locally. This means that I am now only relying on webmention.io to deliver my webmentions, not for any long-term storage.
Finally, I've added support for displaying webmentions on post pages. I used to have this when my website was powered by Jekyll, but when I moved to a dynamic website, I didn't bother adding that functionality back until I could do it the way I wanted it. Now that I have my local storage I was able to go back to displaying them. Below is a screenshot of the webmention displays on one of my posts:
I'm still trying to tweak exactly how I want things, but I am pretty happy with things for a first pass. I am avoiding "metrics numbers" so instead of display any totals, I am trying to just display the content. Instead of showing 5 "likes" I would just display 5 👍 and of course each reacji will display on it's own as well.
I am not currently displaying mentions for posts when they display on feed pages. I am thinking I might just display a row of emoji representing that last 10 responses. If they are reacji, it would display the reacji, for the rest I would translate the response types to the following emojis: likes 👍, replies 💬, repost ♻️, bookmark 🔖 , listen 🎧, mentions 💭. It would show a recent snapshot of activity on a post without giving in to numbers.
I also am not doing any moderation of posts currently, every webmention automatically gets added and displayed. I can delete a webmention, of course, but there are protections against spam appearing until I delete it. I outlined how I want to deal with moderation, the 2nd level connections are going to be a bit tricky so my goal is to first just start with immediate connections as always accepted, others unlisted until I moderate. Then I'll need to create a mute/block list and have incoming webmentions check that list and respond appropriately.
Finally, if someone sends a webmention delete (a HTTP 410 Gone response from a webmention source url) right now I don't think my website will do anything, in fact, I don't even know if webmention.io supports them. I would like to be able to accept and process webmention deletes. My plan is not to actually erase a webmention that is "deleted" but instead, to set the visibility to private. I can of course, manually delete any private webmentions that I don't want any more.
Today, I've rolled out all of these changes on my website. I also altered the way my audience parameter works. Previously it embedded h-cards within each post with an audience. Now, all audience and person-tag h-cards are stored in my nickname cache first, and then I just put the h-card's uid within the audience array. This change was suggested by Sven in the IndieWeb chat and it was a smart move so I decided to go with that approach.
All in all, I'm very happy with how this turned out. I already added an h-card for a previous post's audience over Micropub and then added that url to the post so that it displays. It worked great! I also added support for retrieving a list of h-cards from the nickname cache by sending a
GET request to my Micropub endpoint with
This will allow me to build into my Micropub client a request to fetch my nicknames cache and display it to the user. The user will then allow me to select which cards I'd like to attach to a post's audience. The uids of those cards would then be added to the audience of the Micropub post. Feels like a pretty seamless experience to add audiences to my posts which is important because in the future I'll be utilizing audiences more as I begin to add support to my site for private posts.
I took a look at my IndieWeb goals and made a list of the things I want to have live on my website by January 1, 2019.
I used to display webmentions my posts received on the previous Jekyll incarnation of my website, but now that I've shifted my website to being dynamically rendered, I haven't rebuilt the webmention display code. I'd like to finish that.
I want to import all existing webmentions I've received to date and store them as JSON files in my post storage folders alongside my posts.
I also want to make sure that whenever my site receives a webmention that I immediately add that new webmention to the JSON files in my post storage folders.
Finally, I want to display webmentions on post pages. I'm not sure if I'll include them on feed pages or not.
✅ Completed November 20, 2018
h-card based nickname cache: Currently my nickname cache is some random storage code and has to be edited by hand. I want my nickname cache to be saved h-card files and to be able to save new people to nickname cache by sending an h-card via Micropub.
Subscribe page: Add a Subscribe page like Aaron Parecki so that people can more easily choose what feeds they want to follow from my website.
If I am able to actually complete all the above goals, I'm going to shift my focus to owning my reading and figuring out if i can leave Goodreads behind.
In fact, there has been conversation lately about how nickname caches are really just h-cards. If you take that and the conversations around collections, you can make private collections of h-cards to essentially create lists. This would be an h-card with children h-cards. You could even use this to say represent your co-workers if you had an h-card collection with the info of your employer and then it had children h-cards of the employees of the company, you could then easily share certain items with your co-workers.
This means I can post a code snippet, select some specific lines and then share the resulting url with fragment to someone and the code snippet will automatically highlight the specific lines to them. Also, the possibility exists that someone could include a code line fragment in the url when sending a webmention to my code snippet and like media fragment, I would then be able to consume the code line fragment and associate the webmention with the specific code snippet lines.
One more step towards owning my own data AND replacing GitHub functionality through distributed means.